Vocational Learner of the Year Award for College Merthyr Tydfil Engineering learner


The College Merthyr Tydfil is celebrating today after our Engineering student Brandon Jones was successfully awarded the Vocational Qualification (VQ) Intermediate Learner of the Year Award. 


Brandon, who studied on our BTEC Level 3 Engineering provision, impressed judges with his determination to not only do his very best on his vocational qualification but to also help fellow pupils from Cyfarthfa High School to reach the national final of the F1 in Schools Challenge at Silverstone for two years running and inspire them to progress into a career in engineering. 



Brandon, who graduated in 2017 with a double distinction star in Engineering, took on the role of team leader as part of his Welsh Baccalaureate Community Challenge. As part of this role, he spent 30 hours working with Year 10 students in Design and Technology lessons at Cyfarthfa High. At the end of this time he impressed the staff  so much that they gave him the opportunity to visit on a weekly basis to coach and mentor year 11 engineering and design and technology learners. Brandon seized this opportunity and enrolled both Cyfarthfa High School and Merthyr College in the F1 in Schools Challenge. Initially he led the team to the regional finals and then onto the national finals at Silverstone.

As part of his role as F1 team leader, Brandon delegated roles to the other learners, acted as chief designer and also worked with three divisions within the college to produce a display stand for the national final. He was also instrumental in obtaining Team Sponsorship. It was only fitting that the college and school named the F1 team after him - ‘Brandon’s Hatch’.

Brandon’s legacy has been to establish an ongoing partnership between the college Engineering division and Cyfarthfa High School. As an outcome of this, we entered two joint teams to the regional finals in 2018 and Brandon took time in between studying for his Product Design degree at Cardiff Metropolitan University to come back and help out the team. 

Brandon Commented "​I am delighted to receive this award. From my first week in college, I really enjoyed the course and aspired to do my very best not just academically but also by participating in as many extra-curriculum activities as possible.” 

Tutor Martin Thomas, commented “Not only has Brandon worked his hardest to achieve the best he can academically but he has also been an inspiration to his fellow students. On top of his studies, he continuously volunteered to participate in extra-curricular activities and opportunities.  He excelled above our expectations and he thoroughly deserves to win the VQ Intermediate Learner of the Year Award. I wish him the very best of luck with his future career.”

Jonathan Davies, Cyfarthfa High School’s head of technology, noted: “Brandon is a natural leader with an attention to detail. I believe that his exceptional attitude will lead him to have a successful future career and I have no doubt that he will excel in his degree just like he did in his BTEC level 3 Engineering and his GCSEs prior to that.”

Brandon's achievements not only showcases his hard work and determination but it also reaffirms the commitment and passion of our Technology staff who have supported and encouraged him over the last two years. 

With over 60 vocational pathways on offer and the highest vocational success rates in Wales, this award is the icing on the cake for the college and endorses our position as the leading provider of vocational awards in Wales. 




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